Slovenia Business Link Newsletter

DECEMBER 2016

We are a little more than two weeks away from the end of the year, when we will be turning over a new page with the year 2017 inscribed on it.

In light of the coming holidays, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia


CCIS NEWS

CCIS Assembly: Special Statement on critical conditions for public financial sustainability and health care reform

Health Minister, Ms Milojka Kolar Celarc, cancelled her participation in the General Assembly, just before its beginning on December 13th. This only confirms the assessment that the Slovenian government has no sympathy for the economy’s competitiveness. Government expenditures are not only too high but also not development-oriented enough. The assembly also adopted the Integral Work Plan of the CCIS for the year 2017.

Chamber of Commerce’s Board: Holiday on 2 January is a populist move

In light of current events in the public sector, the reintroduction of 2 January as a national holiday would be a frivolous, irresponsible and populist measure, members of the Management Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS) agreed. At their meeting on 1 December they also discussed strategic infrastructure projects together with representatives of the Directorate for Land Transport. They have proposed a draft work plan for the CCIS to be submitted to the CCIS Assembly for approval.

Slovenian Business Summit: Website digitalna.si has been set up

Priority recommendations for a faster and more successful digitalisation of the economy are modernisation of school programmes, a great national digital coalition and development support by the government. This has been highlighted by over 430 leading representatives of business at the 11th Slovenian Business Summit, organized by the CCIS on 24 November. It is at this summit that the Slovenian digital coalition – digitalna.si – has been formed, which will contribute to a higher competitiveness, new employment opportunities, development of a social and inclusive society and to a faster digitalisation in Slovenia.


Paper industry assumes a key role in the Slovenian circular economy
Paper producers in Slovenia require new skills and investments

The 20th jubilee of the annual Paper Industry Day took place on 23 November in Bled and was attended by 290 experts from 15 countries. As Samo Hribar Milič, General Manager of CCIS, pointed out in his opening address, the Slovenian paper industry has been operating exceptionally well, whereas such results are hard-won. Paper producers are aware of the fact that they are in need of new know-how and new investments and they also expect that the legislators will enable them a supportive competitive environment.

UPCOMING EVENTS

5 - 8 January: VISIT TO THE INTERNATIONAL FAIR: CES 2017

Companies are invited to join the organized visit to the largest consumer electronics world fair, CES 2017, taking place in Las Vegas between 5 and 8 January 2017. Each year, this fair attracts over 177,000 professionals and 3,800 exhibitors from all around the world. It presents most advanced technologies and products in the fields of 3D printing, electronics accessories, audio appliances, communication infrastructures, computer software and hardware, digital photography, computer games etc.

13 January: WORKSHOP: How to develop a successful business model and enter the Indian market

You will have access to first-hand practical experience in successfully placing products and services within the segments B2G, B2B and B2C in India, the world’s fastest growing large economy.

17 - 20 January: VISIT TO THE INTERNATIONAL FAIR: WoC 2017

Companies are invited to join the organized visit to the largest world fair for the cement industry which will take place in Las Vegas between 17 and 20 January 2017. It will present world-class producers and distributors of building machinery and equipment, as well as courses in health and safety at work, new technologies. You will have the opportunity to meet contractors, suppliers of construction services, concrete dealers, engineers, architects, building designers and others.

26 January: 2ND EXPERT CONSULTATION: Consulting engineering and its role in the investment process

The focus of this debate will be on the influence of new laws (Building Code (GZ) and Chartered Architects and Engineers Act (ZPAI)) on the consulting engineering activities, guidelines for the public procurement of architectural and engineering services, on FIDIC in the investment process and on BIM – regarding digitalisation in the investment process.

30 January - 2 February: VISIT TO THE INTERNATIONAL FAIR: Arab Health 2017

Companies are invited to join the organized visit to the largest specialized fair of medical care in the MENA region, taking place in Dubai between 30 January and 2 February 2017. Over 4,400 companies from 70 countries will be presented at this fair which is an excellent platform for networking, seeing the latest products and innovative technologies in the field of healthcare, as well as for internationally certified trainings.

BETTER REGULATION

13 December: The government is playing with the fate of public finances and the competitiveness of the economy

In recent months the Government has adopted a number of decisions, which clearly indicate that it is not managing public funds well on behalf of the taxpayers, thereby seriously deteriorating the business environment and competitiveness of the Slovenian economy.

13 December: What the CCIS requires from the health minister

The conditions in the healthcare system, with the disclosure of a number of anomalies and signature of an agreement with the trade union Fides, have created a volatile situation in health care and a real threat to public finances. The CCIS requires a comprehensive health reform which will,
- enable the health system to function efficiently and to high standards, while eliminating systemic abnormalities revealed by the media almost every day,
- not offset the effects of tax restructuring and motivation of staff crucial for development, through a new approach to supplementary health insurance,
- not enable additional payments to doctors culminating on average almost 50 times higher than employees could receive through tax restructuring.

5 December: The Italian NO has an echo

The main concern resulting from this vote is that the new government might reject the euro and would wish to accelerate Italian economic growth by introducing a new lira, while refusing to pay the debt on Eurobonds.

5 December: Black gold becoming increasingly expensive

According to estimates made by analysts of the CCIS, the price of oil will reach 60 USD in 2017. Should Trump deliver on his electoral promises, this price could be lower.

1 December: Appeal to the Slovenian government: Do not mislead the people by giving them sweets!

The genie is out of the bottle. The proposal to reintroduce 2 January as a national holiday is only the last piece in the mosaic of this game in the Slovenian political arena that is not state-building, is simply irresponsible and has been going on for months.

17 November: Slovenian budget in the wind of change: Reservations from Brussels are justified

The European Commission has confirmed the assumption that Slovenia has been taking the present economic growth for granted and has not taken this opportunity to reduce the public debt. The structural general government deficit in Slovenia has even increased. Read more:

DATA SECTION

Economic growth in Slovenia was above our expectations also in the third quarter of 2016. The GDP has risen by 2.7 % or even by 3 %, considering the season and the calendar. The manufacturing industry has contributed the most to economic growth, that is 1.3 percentage points. The value added in manufacturing has increased by 6.5 %. It has grown most significantly in the accommodation and food service activities, i.e. by 11.0 %. The total value added of the Slovenian economy has risen by 2.5 %. In the third quarter of 2016, exports have grown by 5.4 % (the exports of goods have increased by 5.2 % and the exports of services by 5.8 %). Imports have grown by 4.5 % (where imports of goods have increased by 4.9 % and the imports of services by 2.5 %). The contribution of the external trade surplus to economic growth was 1.1 percentage points. Private household spending also continues to have a positive impact on the economic activity in Slovenia. In the third quarter of 2016, it has increased by 3.6 %. Similar to previous quarters of this year, the gross fixed capital formation has had a negative influence on investments in buildings and structures (these have decreased by 12.4 %).
The main reason for this is the fact that there is no construction of government and municipal buildings and other civil engineering works, which is connected to delays in the absorption of EU funds due to the transition to the new financial perspective. Investments into equipment and machinery have increased by 6.6 % and thus, mitigated the decrease of the gross fixed capital formation, but to a lesser extent than in the previous quarter (when investments into machinery and equipment grew by 14.2 %). The survey data on labour market trends remains positive. A decrease in the number of unemployed people continued in the third quarter, while the number of those that were in an employment relationship in this interim period was higher. The survey unemployment rate has decreased in the third quarter by 7.6 %. Due to the increase in household spending, also the sale of semi-durables and durables has increased in the third quarter. The sale of food products remained low and in the first nine months did not reach the level of the previous year. This was a consequence of a change in the purchasing behaviour of consumers who focused on more affordable products during the crisis. The Slovenian Eurobond yield to maturity and its spread in relation to the yield of the German bond (71 b. t.) have increased slightly in November after their decrease in the second half of 2016, but they still remain on a very low level.

Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.

 

Growth rates in % – compared to the same period last year

Latest data

GDP – real growth

2.7

3rd quarter 2016

Consumer prices (HICP)

0.6

Nov. 2016

Exports of goods

-0.7

Oct. 2016

Imports of goods

-0.5

Oct. 2016

Industrial production (manufacturing)

6.9

Sep. 2016

Retail sales (real)

6.6

Oct. 2016

Construction (real)

-9.2

Sep. 2016

Exchange rate EUR/USD

1.078

Nov. 2016

Gasoline, unleaded, 95OCT (EUR/litre)

1.242

Valid from 6 December 2016

 

 

Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: poslovni.tednik@gzs.si, T: (01) 5898 000, eng.gzs.si

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